February 24, 2010

On the Sickie Merry-Go-Round

So. Jason got sick two weeks ago. Came home from work at 10am on a Tuesday and didn't go back to work until the following Thursday. He only gets sick about once a year (the punk), and this one definitely landed him on his back (more like his computer chair, actually).

Anyway, after a week playing nurse I still hadn't caught his bug, so I figured I was lucky (blessed, relieved, fill in the blank with a "happy" adjective). For once, Jay had gotten sick and I hadn't. That never happens.

But that record's still intact because I woke up last Saturday with the tell-tale signs of a sore throat and stuffy nose. Two weeks later. Go figure. Now I talk funny when I'm on the phone and I can't smell Caleb when he's poopy.

And it's not just me. Little Man caught the bug, too. I've kept him home from school the last two days due to the nasty yellow junk still running out his nose.

We spent the weekend (and most of this week thus far) hunkered down in our den: Caleb watching a variety of cartoons on the lap top while I did a variety of things on my computer: play Mass Effect (my new favorite computer game), mess around on Facebook, more Mass Effect, watch episode after episode of Myth Busters, change a diaper, fix a quick lunch, download fun scrapbook papers and elements, and scrapbook with said new papers and elements.

That last one is what I spent most of yesterday doing. Because guess what? One of my favorite digital scrapbook supply stores recently put a TON of their stuff up for free download. Did you hear that?! FREE!

The store is called {Computer}Scrapbook.com. I discovered their freebie deal a few weeks ago, but it's taken me a looooong time (read: hours on four separate occasions) to download everything I wanted. And now I want to share all the fun freebies with you! Just click on the link above, then click on the Free Stuff button in the left hand column.

Their stuff can be used for more than just scrapbooking, so if you're into paper products, designing your own cards, or creating a new blog look, check 'em out. You'll be delighted! I promise. :)

Here's a look at what I created yesterday with some of the fun new stuff:

Primarily, I used the Sunset Kit for these layouts; the see-through alphabet letters come from the True Love Kit. I'm all about mixing and matching, ya know?
Seriously? {Computer}Scrapbook.com has some beautiful, amazing stuff. And right now, most of it's free!!!
Common, tell me that doesn't brighten your day just a little?

Being sick isn't so bad with all this new stuff to play around with. And if you have some Olympic Figure Skating to watch, well! You might want to stay sick a little longer.
Or not.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll get back to the business of getting better (which may or may not include a TV, a box of kleenex, a certain toddler, and a lap top).
Happy Downloading!

February 16, 2010


(wanted to write this post last week, but between caring for a sick husband and losing a lot of free time to a new computer game I'm smitten with ((ahem)), it didn't happen. My apologies :)

We don't hear the pitter patter of little feet much in our house. More like the STOMP STOMP of size 9 boy's feet as they jump off his bed, the couch, the chair, and any other furniture that grants him altitude.

Visitors often jerk in alarm when they hear Caleb "taking his nap." His bedroom floor is all wood and reverberates like a drum, so even driving a Hot Wheels car off his little table sounds like a stampeding elephant. And he likes to drive all his cars off his table, at the same time. So it sounds more like a herd of elephants plowing over a marching band in the middle of a drum solo at a heavy metal rock concert. Every single afternoon.

"Oh! is he ok?" people ask when they hear a particularly loud CRASH. I cock my head and listen carefully for the sound of tears and little pleas of "Hee-op! Hee-op!" (read: Help! Help!) If I don't hear them, I smile at whoever is visiting and say,
"Oh yes, he's fine. This is normal for him."

Then they go home wondering what kind of mother I am.


We call him our goofball. He calls us Mah-Mee and Dah-Dee. (sometimes he calls me Dah-Dee, too . . . still working on that one). And not a day goes by when Jason and I don't look at each other and ask just how we ended up with such a cute little boy.

A little boy who will scour the whole house for pillows, build them up into a enormous pile in our livingroom, and then dive bomb off the couch on top of them. "Dah-Dee! Dah-Dee! Pee-yow (pillow)! Mountain!"

A little boy who will hold my hand as I walk him to school, allow me to help him out of his jacket, then turns and says "Bye-bye, Mah-Mee!" (Because clearly, I am no longer needed).

A little boy who loves his cartoons, especially Pee-Pan (Pink Panther), Oso (which he says perfectly . . . gotta love Spanish, even if you don't love Oso!), Tain (which means Trains, which means Chuggington, a new show on Playhouse Disney), and Ah-May (Animaniacs . . . you should hear him try to pronounce THAT one ;).

As Caleb's vocabulary increases (and it certainly has), so does mine and Jay's. We must be much more creative now when we talk about certain food-related items, such as the Liquid Fruit Product (juice) and Fried Potatoes (fries). Carbonated Beverage stands in for soda (because there's nothing Caleb loves quite so much as soda . . . they sure learn young, don't they??) and Frozen Dairy Product means ice cream.

Whatever will we do when Caleb's old enough to understand those euphemisms?

We'll learn Russian. That's what.

We hear lots of words from our son these days, all spoken in that sweet little boy voice that cannot yet pronounce the letter "L".

He looks for his bear at naptime and cries "Found!" when he finds it. If it's good and lost, he wanders around saying "Where go? Where go?"

First thing in the morning, after racing out of his room, he climbs up on his barstool and says "Eat!" Then he grins at me shyly and whispers "Cereo, cereo" until I pour him some Honey Oh's! cereal. Hold the milk. (He prefers his cereal dry) And when he's finished that? "Mor-uh, Mor-uh!"

I think he could eat Honey Oh's! morning, noon, and night. I need to find a place that sells it in bulk.

At night, he asks for a "stor-ee" before bed. He likes to brush his "teef" all by himself. And when he successfully puts on his shoes (with a little help) he cries exuberantly: "Ah dih it! Ah dih it!"

Oh my. He melts my heart hourly.

He's more adorable now than the day he was born.

I didn't think that was possible.

And I've decided three is going to be a good year. :)

February 15, 2010

Valentines Day: Belated and Past

I had such fun reading over Ashleigh's valentine memories the other day, I resolved to write a similar post of my own. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), real life happened in abundance this weekend and I haven't had the chance to sit down, collect my thoughts, and write.

So I hope y'all don't mind extending the pink and red holiday another twenty-four hours so I can relive my uber-romantic memories for you. (Not).

Jason and I are not what you'd call mushy, sappy, or lovey-dovey. In fact, we're probably more romantically-challenged than most. I think in the eight years we've been together (in one form or another), we've made bona fide Valentines plans twice. Now let's see how good my memory is . . .

Valentines 2002:
Nothing much to report here, I'm afraid. We were in the early stages of friendship at this point, sharing breakfasts out once a week at our favorite hole in the wall. We were no where near serious enough to consider each other "our valentines", and thus, this holiday passed us by unmarked.

Valentines 2003:
We were officially a couple and loving it. :) My university hosted a Valentines banquet aboard an 1880s steam boat in downtown San Diego, and we went with a bunch of my friends from school. Formal attire and everything. I still have framed pictures from that night. They are some of our favorites . . . All together now, ok? Awwwwwwwwww.

Valentines 2004:
Engaged! Planning our wedding for June, busy with up-coming midterms. We didn't do much; I think I might have spelled I *heart* You with Reeces Peanut Butter cups on Jason's card table in an attempt to be cute. That's all I remember.

Valentines 2005:
Our first as a married couple. Don't think we did anything this year, either. Knowing us, we probably got Chineese and watched some Netflix.

Valentines 2006:
aka, Bona Fide Plans #2
Our church hosted a Valentine's banquet for married couples. They served us dinner and had a dessert bar with two enormous chocolate fountains and piles (I mean PILES) of yummy things to dip with. The church also hired a Christian comedian for the evening's entertainment; he was hilarious! We had such a good time.

(Two months later, we found out I was pregnant with Caleb, which may or may not have affected the outcome of Valentines 2007)

Valentines 2007:
Nothing comes to mind. Caleb's first three months of life are a blur, filled with lots of trips to the doctors, Rite Aid, and Hollywood Video. I doubt we even noticed Heart Day this year between all the laundry, dirty diapers, and Baby Blues.

Valentines 2008:
This year, V-Day fell on a Thursday which was our night for Home Fellowship. Instead of cancelling bible study, however, those of us with kids all met at McDonalds for dinner. We visited while the kids played and outside, the rain poured. Jason wasn't even there for most of it, because he had to work late. Oogly-googly romantic, doncha think? Now please pass the fries . . .

Valentines 2009:
I know this was just last year, but my mind draws a blank yet again. Mom and Harry probably watched Caleb for us one of the weekends in February; we never made a habit of going out on Valentines in San Diego, because the restaurants are always packed and we don't like to fight the crowds. Nothing says "I love you" like a two hour wait with a roomful of strangers, smelling yummy food you cannot eat. You know?

Valentines 2010:
We had some new friends of ours over for dinner the night of the 13th. They brought a portable chocolate fountain with them, and we joked that we were living up Valentines in style this year, what with the fountain and our four combined children running around the house wanting to help with the chocolate, look at the chocolate, touch the chocolate, and eat the chocolate. :)

I actually spent yesterday away from my hubby and with the same mommy friend who had come for dinner the night before. We had lunch and got facials done. Did very girly things. :)

When I came home, I made blackberry stuffed french toast with eggs and bacon for my boys (which also included my brother-in-law). And that was V-Day 2010.

Terribly, totally romantic, eh? We're a regular Romeo and Juliet.

Or not. But hey! we're not complaining. We love each other the same, every day of the year and that's what really counts.

Once more, ok? Awwwwwwwwww.

Now a question for you: Which would you prefer to receive on Valentines: chocolate, flowers, or a cute, soft, stuffed animal?

This question assumes you are not romantically-challenged. And yes, you may answer even if you don't have a valentine yet. :)

February 6, 2010

Groundhog, Your Life Hangs By a Thread

Thank you all for the emails, phone calls, and comments I received in my last post. You guys blessed me so much with your encouragement -- thank you.

That post almost wasn't published. I deliberated for a while on whether to be that honest with y'all or just let the whole issue sit quietly in the shadows. It's easy to appreciate and applaud when someone else is brutally real on their blog, but it isn't so easy to risk that kind of honesty yourself. But after reading your responses, I'm glad I hit the Publish button. Through all of you, God once again showed Himself strong and faithful and loving. And that's something I wouldn't miss for anything. :)

And now, would someone please shoot the groundhog?

This groundhog, in case you're wondering:
(Photograph by Jason Cohn, Reuters)

Mr. Punxsutawney Phil, I don't want six more weeks of winter. Make another prediction like that and I'm gonna catch you, cook you, and eat you for dinner. Let's get with the program and announce an early spring, mkay??

Because I really want more of this:

I miss the sun. I need the sun.
Mr. Punxsutawney, are you reading this? Can you even read??

'Course deep down I know that you don't get the golden, green, sunny days without a whole lotta wet gray first:

You can't have one without the other. No rain, no pretty forests. Simple as that.

And given how utterly gorgeous today was . . .

. . . I probably shouldn't be complaining at all. We just might get that early spring here in the Pacific Northwest.
Mr. Punxsutawney, you may forage in peace. I forgive you and your dumb shadow, and the hunters won't come after you just yet. Maybe your predictions are for local weather anyway. Pennsylvannia is, after all, a long way from Washington.

February 3, 2010

In the Pattern of the Grand Design

"You're not the one I'm angry at. Way down deep, I think I'm angry at God."

I struggled not to cry while I talked to him. I was, after all, in the middle of the thrift store. We had talked the night before, about having another baby. About how this wasn't a good time. About how we needed to wait. Longer. More. Our talk had turned into a fight because waiting wasn't the answer I wanted to hear. I'd cried. A lot.

Which was why Jason had called me from work: to see how I was. Was I still angry? Was I ok? His concern was sweet and soothing; he rarely calls me from work, and the fact that he was on the phone with me at 9:17 am showed just how worried he was. But I wasn't mad at him anymore. I'd treated him unfairly the night before, and I told him so. I also apologized.

"I love you. I'll see you at lunch."

I hung up and continued to peruse the aisles at our local thrift store. Killing time. Avoiding going home. Not wanting to sit down to devotions and face God. Because while I wasn't mad at Jason, I was still mad. Mad, hurt, confused, angry.

God was messing with the desires of my heart and deep insecurities I didn't want to acknowledge. I looked over some old photo frames and then headed for the shoes. I wasn't ready to deal. But you can only avoid God for so long . . .

"Why, God? Why are You asking us to wait?"

Trust Me. I know what's best.

"I don't want there to be four or five or six years between Caleb and our next child. I want them to be close! I don't want to raise two only children."

Trust Me. I know what I'm doing.

"I want to be pregnant again. I want to have a baby again. I want Caleb to have a sibling."

Trust Me. My timing is perfect.

"Why didn't You find Jason a better paying job so we could afford more kids? Why couldn't You have provided health insurance? Why did You give us such a big house for just the three of us?"

Trust Me. My plans are not your plans. I have blessed you richly; you and your family want for nothing. Enjoy what I have given you and be content. Let Me plan your family. Let Me be in control.

Then the Lord brought the Storage Room to mind; our uber-messy junk room that has served as the garage since we moved in last summer. A room I had secretly hoped to make into a nursery. He gave me some new ideas for that room: organization, decoration, and utility. The Storage Room would be good for me; a project to help me trust, accept, and move forward.

Slowly, painfully, I began to sort the junk and empty the boxes. Then I couldn't stop. I gathered momentum somehow and just kept going. I've been going all week.

I ran all last weekend while I unpacked boxes, bagged up trash, smoked salmon, shopped for curtains, traveled the thrift stores, hiked with Caleb, went to church.

I've been running this week, too, hanging out with friends, reading blogs, writing letters, baking muffins, shuttling Caleb to school, and washing laundry. I've barely slept. I've barely stopped.

The Storage Room has never looked so good.

But today all that running caught up with me. I sat in the car outside of Safeway this morning and realized I was tired. I was ready to stop running. I was ready to accept whatever God wanted for me, even if I didn't understand it.

Faith can be so hard sometimes, you know?

But now I'm ready to rest. Now I'm ready to wait.

"A single thread in a tapestry,
though its color brightly shines,
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design . . .
So how can you see what your life is worth?
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man;
You must look at your life through heaven's eyes."
-- from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack
"Through Heaven's Eyes"